[Alt-photo] IS IT ALT?

`Richard Knoppow dickburk at ix.netcom.com
Thu Nov 15 23:44:17 UTC 2018

    This discussion is probably a dead horse by now but I had a 
though I want to pass along. It was inspired by the changes in 
electronics and ham radio. I think what has been lost in 
photography is a certain kind of what I will call craft. I think 
perhaps the attraction of alternative methods of printing or of 
making negatives (such as wet plate) come from a desire to 
practice a kind of craft.  There is certainly craft in knowing 
how to work with image editors in adjusting images but the 
physical craft in doing even what I will call conventional 
silver-gelatin photography and certainly the kinds of photography 
that Judy called post factory is somehow, to me, of a different 
kind. The photographic industry tried to make silver-gelatin 
photography as craft-free as possible; that is, they tried to 
make the production of satisfactory photographs as much 
independent of any specialized knowledge or ability on the 
photographer's part. Don't misunderstand, there are plenty of 
highly skilled photographers but so much of the market for 
"conventional" materials was for the snapshot market. This is 
certainly what George Eastman went after with the "You press the 
button we do the rest". I think electronic or digital photography 
also requires a lot of skill if you want anything out of the 
ordinary, but it has certainly displaced everything else for 
casual pictures. Very simple. I think this is the attraction for 
alternative processes (I will use that term because everyone here 
knows what it means) including these days silver gelatin. I think 
I will now put my horse whip away.

Richard Knoppow
dickburk at ix.netcom.com

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